Capitalism Is Not Evil. We Are

An article in the last edition of Frankly Speaking purported that Capitalism is the “root cause” of sexism and racism in our society. The article looks at two examples to show how manipulative capitalism can be: movies feature largely white people for prominent roles; beauty products feature unrealistically beautiful people that foster insecurity in women. The article argues that Capitalism perpetuates these undesirable cultural values because they sell. In fact, the cause and effect are reversed.
Capitalism creates products that reflect the culture and values of the consumers. If you think that these companies are wrong, then fix it. Boycott the latest Marvel movie which only features light-skinned people. Don’t buy soap from a brand that reinforces harmful gender ideals. That is how capitalism works. If enough people feel like you, then things will change. In fact, this change has been happening for a while now. Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ campaign is now 10 years old. Could we have had a Hamilton 10, 20, 50 years ago?
Don’t be fooled into thinking that companies and playwrights are more progressive than they used to be. That is not the takeaway. Progressivism and inclusionism happen to be “in” right now, and businesses from soap to Broadway are just trying to sell you more products. The key point is that capitalism is not the “root cause” of sexism and racism in our society. Our culture is, and it is up to us to change it.

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